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Charm and Speed: Virtuosity in the Performing Arts

Christie Victoria

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ISBN 10: 143310217X / ISBN 13: 9781433102172
Published by Peter Lang Inc., International Academic Publishers, 2008
Condition: Good Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Charm and Speed: Virtuosity in the ...

Publisher: Peter Lang Inc., International Academic Publishers

Publication Date: 2008

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: Good

Edition: New edition.

About this title


What is virtuosity? Is it an innate gift or can it be taught? How does it manifest in music, dance, or drama, and by what criteria? What does it take to become a virtuoso/a; what are the odds of success? And ultimately, at what price? Examining the concept of virtuosity in multiple perspectives, this book helps to answer those questions and many more. V. A. Howard traces virtuosity from its historical roots to philosophical and psychological learning theory to the rigours of professional training and shows how high level performers are made, marketed, and sold by those who broker talent as a commodity.
Critics and theorists will find this book comprehensive and illuminating. And for that vast group of budding aspirants (and their mentors) who desire to «make it», to figure out where they are going, how far and why, the insights contained herein are key to survival. No dance or drama studio, regional theatre, music school, or conservatory can afford to ignore this hard look at the realities of classical performance art and training. For those whose vocation is performance, this is required reading.

From the Back Cover:

"V. A. Howard’s book is acute and anecdotal at the same time—generous with arguments, but also with examples from the real world. I think anyone eager to make a life in the performing arts will want to read it because it really concerns itself with the kind of education they should have and the kind of life they can expect. It is his view that virtuosity is not just an innate gift, but something that needs to be nurtured, and in that connection he offers something rather rare in philosophical books: real wisdom, helpful advice." Arthur C. Danto, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Columbia University "In Charm and Speed, V. A. Howard shares his astute analysis of virtuosity with considerable charm and just the right pace to keep things interesting." David N. Perkins, Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education "The philosophical analyses are undergirded by the author’s nuanced feel for the actualities of performance based on his own experience as a singer and audience member and on his extraordinarily rich historical knowledge of the lives and practices of great artists and their teachers—all of which he uses in masterful (and often amusing) fashion to illustrate his more abstract philosophical analyses. Charm and Speed is the most profound, most complete, most engagingly written treatment of virtuoso performance artistry and of the multiple issues that intersect with it I have read.

Until now, virtuosity has not received much attention from philosophers and art critics. This landmark work rights the balance. It offers an original and wonderfully coherent account of virtuosity which should allow musicians, dancers, painters, sculptors, and other performance artists, and their varied audiences, to talk more sensibly and clearly to each other about what it is that great artists achieve in their work. Charm and Speed will be an invaluable intellectual resource and guide for all of them."

Thomas Ewens, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Rhode Island School of Design

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